A Web-Site of "HomeTown Tributes" . . .

A Photographic Tribute to America's HomeTowns and their People . . . throughout the Decades






























































































































































































































Welcome, to Each of You visiting this Site

- To You as a Member of the City of Dayton Community - a Current or a Former Resident, or as a Current or Former City Official of Dayton.

- To You as a Member of the University of Dayton Community - a Member of the Staff, or of the Faculty, as an Alumni, or a Student.

- To each of America's 50 Governors,

- To each of over 36,000 of America's Town Mayors in each of those 50 Great States.

- And, to each of You, the Town Residents; indeed the heart, the spirit, and the success of any Town. Those who live their Lives in their own HomeTowns throughout each of America's 50 States.

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Welcome. My name is Stephen Van Hecke. I'm the author of


Thank You for taking these next few minutes to visit this rather unique Web-Site. You are one of the very first individuals to be visiting this Site, and reading this Introductory Page. It will take just a few minutes, but I think, as you read down the Page, you will find it to be a 'rather interesting read'.

With this Page, I'd like to tell You about . . .

'what's in a name'.


And then, at the bottom of the page, you'll be able to see for yourself . . .

'what's, also, in this Name'

"HomeTown Tributes"

That is what this Web-Site is All about !

"HomeTownMemories" and "HomeTown Tributes"

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This one-of-a-kind Web-Site with its "HomeTown Tributes" is all about those Memories that each of us have of that one Town that we think of as 'Home '. And, of course, for many of us in this country that HomeTown is one of over 36,000 Cities and Towns found all throughout America's 50 States.

Like our own Family Photo Albums, and like Family Photo Albums in countless Homes throughout America, and like no other book that we may own, our Photo Album has always allowed us, by just turning its pages, to take us 'back in time', to recall and reminisce with each of its Pages, those special, personal memories that each Photo unfolds for us. Each Photo allowing us to remember those earlier days, those other places, those special events, those times with Family and Friends . . . Photos hold our Memories.

Our Family Photo Album holds the Memories

of those Special 'Tmes of Our Life' !

And, like browsing through those pages of your own Family Photo Album, HomeTownMemories.ORG, will allow you with just a Click to browse through the Photographic History and Heritage with each Photo . . . those Memories of your own HomeTown . . . of America's HomeTowns, and also, of America's People of those HomeTowns from throughout the Decades.

It will allow You to browse through those Photographic Memories that we each have of that one special American Town that we each call our own . . . HomeTown.

Just Click on a State, select a Town, and then, scroll down, and browse through the Photographic Heritage of each Town's "HomeTown Tribute" .

Each Town's "HomeTown Tribute" Features and Showcases that Town's Photographic History and Heritage, and of their People with each of its 10 separate 'Feature Sections' .

A Town's "HomeTown Tribute" will not only Showcase that Town, but will, also, Preserve from natural disaster, that same Photographic History and Heritage for that same Town. Showcasing the Town for Today, and Preserving that Town's Heritage for Tomorrow.

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Like our own Family Photo Album . . .


with its

"HomeTown Tributes"


America's HomeTown (Family) Photo Album

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Above, I discribed HomeTownMemories.ORG as 'rather unique', and, 'one-of-a-kind' . Each of us - young and old alike - has a 'HomeTown'. And, each of us has our own Memories of that one Town we like to call 'Home'.

With its 10 special 'Feature Sections' for each Town's "HomeTown Tribute", HomeTownMemories.ORG is like no other web-site, and , as You read on, I think you'll see that it is, indeed, a 'one-of-a-kind' Web-Site for America's HomeTowns.

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The Web-Site's "HomeTown Tributes"

Is Why this Web-Site is so very 'unique'

Each "HomeTown Tribute" has 10 individual 'Feature Sections' that make up any Town's "HomeTown Tribute". And, each of the 10 'Feature Sections' separately Pays Tribute to that individual Town.

A little further down the Page you'll see the List of the 10 individual 'Feature Sections'. As You read each 'Title' I think you'll find that each one of the 10 'Feature Sections' in its own special way does Features and Pays Tribute to each of the HomeTowns, and to the People of that Town . . . from throughout the Decades.

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It was important for the Web-Site to be designed so that the Visitor, and more importantly, the Repeat-Visitor will find the Site very inviting for the 'not-so-techy', as well as, being able to easily navigate from Page to Page. And, what kind of experience will a visitor - like yourself - have when You visit the Web-Site and spend time browsing through its Pages?

The most important 'Design' Factor from the beginning has been to give that visitor the opportunity of imagining (so to speak) for a few minutes, being able to pick up and open an interesting 'coffee table' book - like those typically larger-sized books that always have lots of pages, and lots and lots of wonderful photographs covering just one particular theme.

This Web-Site is intended, in a very deliberate way, to give You - that visitor to the Web-Site - the experience of being able to browse through its Pages just like ( so to speak ) an actual, interesting 'coffee table' book. A larger-sized book that has lots and lots of wonderful photos on just one interesting theme . . . a book that might very well be entitled ( personally for You ) . . .

"The Photo Memories of My HomeTown"

But rather, and in stead of picking up, opening, and turning the actual pages of that "coffee table book", just imagine (again, so to speak ), sitting back for a few minutes, and being able to browse through all of the many Photos of Your Own HomeTown" from throughout the Years, recalling all of the wonderful memories that each of those Photos and, each of its Pages bring back from throughout the Deacdes of that one Town that You call 'home'. All of that with just a Click !

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Each of the individual 'Feature Sections' for each Town's "HomeTown Tribute" has the same look - 'a Page in a Book' look, and a uniform Page design. In the same way as the pages of that actual, interesting "coffee table book" that's mentioned in the above paragraph. The format of each Page is designed to look much like a page in a Book. You'll see that each Page has an identical black-framed border with red trim - on each side, top and bottom.

And, for those of You, like me, who find the type (the font) size to be too small, and difficult to read for so much of f the text that I find on the pages of so many web sites.

You will, also, notice, as you browse through it, just how very 'user-friendly' this entire Web-Site is, and how easy it is to navigate. Each page has the same layout and format, and you can easily Click from one 'Feature Section' to another from the top and bottom of each page. And, you'll, also, notice that there are no distracting ads of any type on any of the pages. That is certainly not like most other web-sites.

I think you will notice in many ways that this Web-Site is not like any other web-site.

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10 unique 'Feature Sections'

for Each Town's

"HomeTown Tribute"

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- "Our HomeTown . . . Today"

- Our Town's "Logging-On" Ceremony

- Our Town's Written History

- Our Town's Current and Former Mayors

- Our Town's Fire Department and Former Chiefs

- Our Town's Police Department and Former Chiefs

- Our Town's"Fallen Fire Heroes"

- Our Town's"Fallen Police Heroes"

- Our Town's"Fallen Military Heroes" listed by War

- "Photo Memories of My HomeTown"

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More about the Web-Site

This Web-Site is not really very new, but it has been mostly unknown to the general public. Only a handful of family and friends have known all these years that I was designing a Web-Site. And, that it was my little for-profit Web-Site business that would someday, and in a very unique way Feature and Showcase America's HomeTowns. And, each of those Family Members and Friends knew about the Web-Site because I kept on mentioning that I was getting closer and closer to having an 'Official Launch' for my Web-Site.

In fact, this Web-Site has been around on the Internet since the Spring of 2001. At that time, I was living in Cranford, New Jersey, and in the process of figuring out how to technically design a different looking kind of web-site of mostly Photographs that would 'Showcase', and 'Pay Tribute' to America's HomeTowns. The goal was to design that Web-Site so that after browsing through it, people would say, "Wow, what a great Idea"!

And, for the next 9 years while living in New Jersey and then in Mississippi, and then back to New Jersey, I worked on it when I could, while of course, maintaining full-time jobs. The Web-Site kept on developing, and seemed to keep on improving in its design.

The Web-Site has, in fact, had two 'un-official Launches with "Logging-On Ceremonies" for two separate HomeTowns.

In March of 2008, a 'prototype' "HomeTown Tribute" for the Town of Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi was announced with the Town having its official "Logging-On Ceremony" during a media event with Mayor Edward 'Eddie' Favre, the Town Committee, Fire and Police Chiefs, local news and myself.

A similar "Logging-On Ceremony" and media event was, also, held with Mayor Mark C. Smith, and Town Committee for the Town of Cranford, New Jersey in 2010.

And, since then, and over these years right up to this day, when describing the Web-Site to someone, I would usually hear back from them with a comment something like 'Wow'. 'What a Great Idea'. And, with that "Wow" from so many individuals, and over all these past years, I was pretty sure that a well-designed, 'one-of-a-kind' Web-Site like the one you are about to experience would, indeed, be a success.

I would, also, like to think that this Web-Site, in some way, can make a meaningful and permanent contribution to our Society, and for the People of the United States. It can be an ever-expanding, always up-dating Photographic Archive and National Resource available to Everyone about America's HomeTowns, and about their People of Yesterday . . . of Today . . . and for Tomorrow.

I hope you will agree after browsing through the rest of this Web-Site for yourself.

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The Web-Site's Big Announcement

And now, to announce the actual 'Official Launch' has now arrived, and will be happening this October, 2016.

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The Web-Site is Announcing:

America's FIRST Official

"Logging-On Ceremony"


The City of Dayton, Ohio

'Logging-On' with America's very FIRST

"HomeTown Tribute"

with its

10 Unique

'Feature Sections'

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Just a few words about why The City of Dayton, Ohio was selected as America's FIRST HomeTown with America's FIRST "HomeTown Tribute".

The City of Dayton is, of course, my 'Hometown' having been born in the "Gem City' in 1942.

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As listed above, one of the 10 'Feature Sections' is a Town's 'Logging-On Ceremony' . It memorializes the Date with a photo Press Event when the Mayor officially logs their Town's "HomeTown Tribute" onto the Web-Site. The Page features a group photo of current Town Officials, and an individual photo of the current Mayor. The photo of the current Mayor who has said 'Yes' for their Town to have its own "HomeTown Tribute" will permanently remain on their Town's "Logging-On Ceremony" Page.

With the completion of Dayton's own "HomeTown Tribute" , and now that everyone can visit the Web-Site, I'm looking forward to speaking with Mayor Jan Whaley and her staff to hopefully plan Dayton's official 'Logging-On Ceremony' to occur at a City Commission Meeting, hopefully, as mentioned above, hopefully, next month in October.

With the City of Dayton's 'Logging-On Ceremony', Mayor Nan Whaley will be permanently recogonizd on the 'Logging-On Ceremony', Page as the Dayton Mayor in 2016 when Dayton became America's FIRST Town to have their own "HomeTown Tribute".

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And, after You Click to The City of Dayton's "HomeTown Tribute" - America's FIRST, and after browsing through their 10 'Feature Sections' that Showcase and Pays Tribute to:

The City of Dayton . . .

I hope that You, too, will want to say,

"Wow, what a Great Idea" !

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Easy Navigating Note

You may have noticed as You read down through this Introductory Page that there are smaller 'compressed' Photos located and evenly spaced among the Photos down both side columns. The first one of these compressed Photos is located in each column directly below the first full-scale Phote at the top of the Page.

For each first-time visitor to the Web-Site, like perhaps yourself, I hoped that each first-time visitor would begin to read down the Page, and then would continue reading with more and more interest and curiousity down through the entire Introductory Page. And, I would like to think that is exactly how you just got to this spot. And, I really hope that it has been an interesting read for You.

So, for the next time You visit the Web-Site, You won't have to scroll all the way down to the bottom in order to Click to some other section of the Site. Just Click on any one of those small 'photos' on either side and it will take You to the Main Menu. And from there to any place on the Web-Site.

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An Editorial Note

You may be able to tell that I'm rather excited, and Proud of this Web-Site, and about what it will mean for America's Towns and America's Town Residents to have just one place on the Internet - just one Web- Site - where, with just a Click, each of us will be able to visit Town after Town, from State after State, and be able to Brouse through the Photographic Heritage and History of each one of those American HomeTowns.

And be able to Brouse through that same Photographic Heritage of those Generations and Generations of Towns People - America's Ancesters. A Photographic Heritage of them living their Lives in each of these American HomeTowns.

And, I quess, because of that excitement, I found myself writing this Page, and the next Page - an 'Open Letter' - using a lot of, what I guess I should call, enthusiastic 'poetic license'. I wanted to give You as a new welcome Visitor as much information as possible. While, at the same time, wanting the reading of it to flow as easily as possible for each Visitor. I wanted the few minutes that You were going to spend reading these two Pages about my Web-Site to be as compelling as possible for You. I wanted You to keep on reading, and then, look forward to brousing through Dayton's "HomeTown Tribute".

In order to help do that, one of the ways is that I use 3 distinct font colors. The most noticed is, of course, the 'basic brown' for most of all the text.

The second font color is for the 'Titles' - "HomeTown Tribute(s)", and 'Feature Section(s)' ( these two are always in italics ). It is, also, for the 'Titles' of the 10 individual 'Feature Sections' ( Listed above ), and a few other phases I wanted to highlight that You'll notice.

And, the third font color is red. I found meself using the word 'Click' a fair amount throughout these two Pages. So, I thought I should just tie the word here while your're reading these paragraphs with that word's actual function. For You, and every Visitor to the Web-Site being able to brouse through a Town's "HomeTown Tribute(s)" and to easily move from one'Feature Section' for that Town to another. . . with just a 'Click'.

You will use that word 'Click' to move throuhout the entire Web-Site, including, from one "Feature Section' to another. When brousing through the 10 'Feature Sections' for the City of Dayton, or perhaps, in the near future, for HomeTowns in Each of America's 50 States all You will have to do is 'Click'.

Just look for the yellow, red-boarded box at the top and bottom of every "Feature Section' Page, and you'll find the word 'Click' at the top of the box, with a List of Pages just below 'Click'. Just select one and 'Click' on it.

You, also, may have noticed that I use a fair amount of... ( dot, dot, dot's ) throughout this Page, and, the 'Open Letter'. For me those dots are jusy a way to suggest a brief pause just before a particular word or next thought.

I capitalize and 'bold' a lot of words and numbers. Throughout both Pages. I use caps with certain words that I think have a particular emphasis for the Web-Site.

And, I'm sure that You've noticed that the word - the pronoun 'You' is always capitalized. Of course, the 'You' refers to Each Visitor to this Web-Site . . . and that, of course, includes YOU right now! It's just a small way for me to say "Thank You" for taking the time to read this Introductory Page.

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Reaching out to Each of You


Asking for your Feedback

At the top of this Page, in the Banner Box, five (5) groups ('communities') are identified that this Web-Site hopes to reach out to. They are Members of the City of Dayton Community, Members of the University of Dayton Community, each of America's Governors in our 50 States, each of the Mayors in over 36,000 Town, and, to the Town Residents in each of America's HomeTowns.

Beginning on January 1, through March 31, 2017, the Web-Site will conduct a 3-Month Outreach Effort through Social Media that will be called:

"Hearing from You"

Using the various Social Media platforms, the Web-Site wants to 'reach out' to as many individuals, as possible, from those 5 groups mentioned above. The Web-Site hopes that many of these individuals - like yourself - will visit the Site, and spend less than 5 to 10 minutes reading this same Introductory Page that you're reading, now, as well as, the personalized 'Open Letter' that follows.

From the bottom of this Introductory Page You will Click to a personalized 'Open Letter'.

And from the 'Open Letter', you'll be able to Click to Dayton's "HomeTown Tribute".

And then, begin brousing through the Photographic Heritage found with each of Dayton's 10 Unique 'Feature Sections' .

You may, also, want to say,

"Wow, what a Great Idea" !


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From the bottum of each of the 10 'Feature Sections' . You can Click to the 'Your Comments and Suggestions' Page.

All of your Comments and Suddestions will be greatly appreciated.




A Big 'Thank You'

I want to 'Thank You' for reading down through this Introductory Page. I hope you found it to be informative, as well as, having peaked your curiosity about a unique Web-Site consisting of "HomeTown Tributes". A Web-Site that Features and Pays Tribute to America's HomeTowns, HomeTowns like your own, and to the People in those HomeTowns in every one of America's 50 States.

From here you'll Click to a very brief 'Open Lettter' that is personalized to You, as a new visitor to this Site. From the bottom, select the 'Open Letter' that You wish to read.

And of course, after reading the 'Open Lettter', the biggest part of these few minutes will then be spent enjoyably brousing through the 10 unique 'Feature Sections' that are Dayton's "HomeTown Tribute".

Thanks, again, and Enjoy.

Stephen Van Hecke

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